Is THIS Bliss?!

Lorina's Blog

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Sometimes you just gotta say, “Screw it!”

I’m not quitting. I’m not giving up. But I am giving my food diary the finger and then the cold shoulder for a while. And I’m going to spend a little more time than usual with my foot propped up while playing Lego Harry Potter.

My next three weeks.

My next three weeks.

I have a stress fracture in my fibula, and I’ve been unable to exercise like I want to for the past two weeks, with at least three weeks to go. On the no-can-do list are running, walking, elliptical, leg press, squats or lunges. I can bike and do seated strength training.

Running is my main form of stress relief. I was able to stop taking antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication when I started running. Biking just doesn’t do it for me. Maybe if I had an actual bicycle and could go for a long ride outside, but sitting in a gym on a stationary… I feel like a hamster on a wheel. (I feel the same way about treadmills and ellipticals. I’ll do them if I can’t run outside, but it doesn’t pack the same punch.)

Running is also a great calorie burner, and enabled me to eat like a queen. I’m used to chowing down on up to 2200 calories a day. And biking burns roughly half the calories.

I’m grumpy because I can’t be as active as I want, and grumpy because I can’t, or feel like I can’t, eat like I want.

So I’m taking a break from logging my food. I’m not going to just sit on my ass and eat junk all day long, but I’m not going to stress about sticking to the right amount of calories and balancing my macros and all that.

I’m thinking of it as a test. If I can maintain my weight even under abnormal circumstances, then maybe I don’t need to log my food anymore. I’ve been taking weekends off from logging since June with no problems. My weight has fluctuated since going on maintenance in October, but my body has continued to shrink.

And if I gain some excess fat? So what?! How much can I possibly gain in three weeks? Even if I eat 500 calories over maintenance each day, which I highly doubt I would, I’d only gain 3 pounds. Big whoop. I’ll lose it again once I can be my normal active self again.

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Scales, Roadblocks and Detours

Everybody lies. That’s what Dr. House always says. And the scale is no exception. We’re all so wrapped up in losing weight, gaining weight, what we weigh, what he weighs, what she weighs… and the scale is not a great judge of health.

I’m not saying it’s meaningless. It can be a good baseline. And I’d be a hypocrite if I said that I didn’t enjoy seeing that number drop on the scale. If someone asks me how much I lost, I’m happy to report, “Thirty-one and a half pounds!”

But one can get obsessed with the scale. It’s not a good idea to think of the scale as a friend. It can be a back-stabbing bitch.

I weighed 6.5 pounds more yesterday morning than I did Saturday morning. Granted, I ate and drank and drank and ate with abandon, didn’t exercise that day, and didn’t get any sleep. But I did NOT gain 6.5 pounds.

It takes 3,500 calories to gain or lose a pound. 3,500 calories more than your body needs to gain. 3,500 less than your body needs to lose. If I really gained 6.5 pounds overnight, I’d have to have eaten nearly 25,000 calories. That’s about the equivalent of 50 McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese. I’m pretty sure I’d have been a lot more sick yesterday if I’d really consumed that much.

A huge jump in the scale like that is not weight gain. It’s fluid retention from too much sodium, too much alcohol and not enough sleep. And it will be gone in a few days. Two pounds of it are gone already. I didn’t do enough damage to gain that weight, and I certainly didn’t do enough positive yesterday to lose two pounds.

I always say that the reasons diets fail is purely psychological. Someone can be doing everything right, then have one day where they binge a little, then see a big leap on the scale. It’s a temporary gain, but that person will think, “I blew it. I’m a failure. I can’t do anything right.”

Life throws a lot of obstacles are way. Sometimes they’re in the form of closed roads, sometimes they’re jello shots and potato chips. Either way, you just have to look at it as a detour.

If you were driving to the beach, and you missed a turn, took the wrong exit, or came upon a closed road, you wouldn’t say, “Screw this. I’m going home.” You’d check your map or GPS, maybe pull into a gas station and ask for directions if you’re not a guy, but you’d know you were well on your way, and a little detour is only going to make a slight difference in your arrival time. You’ll get to your destination. Just maybe a few hours later. You’re not going to toss away your weeks of planning, your hours of packing, the hours of driving you’ve already put in, just because the New Jersey turnpike is a cluster-f-word.

A fluctuation on the scale, whether it’s a temporary blip or a three week bender, is no different. You’re well on your way, and it doesn’t matter one hill of seven layer bean dip with tortilla chips if you’re going to get to your destination a few days later than anticipated. In fact, sometime you have the most memorable times getting lost a little on the way.

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I followed my bliss… and got lost.

First post. Intimidating. Where do I start? How is it that the woman who can’t shut up can’t think of what to say?

It’s like staring at a blank canvas. Except I usually have an idea of what I want to put on a canvas before I stick it on the easel. I guess a little bit about me would be in order?

For those who don’t know me, I’m Lorina. I’m 39 years old, married to Fritz for almost ten years. We have seven cats (really, only 3.5 cats apiece… we’re not crazy) and a one-eyed Pekingese named Beavis. We live in what was formerly a little mom-n-pop corner store in a little mom-n-pop town that you’ve probably never heard of.

I bought the house about 15 or so years ago, when I was a fresh faced (and really dumb) 24 year old. I’d been selling cute little arts & craft stuff at local fairs, and thought it would be cool to have my own store. And it was cool, except I didn’t have customers. Turns out they’re pretty important. So after about a year of barely eking by, I closed up shop and became a web developer, a skill I’d learned while trying to find customers online, instead of relying on people from the little mom-n-pop town.

I was a web developer for a few years. I had some minor success online with some of my own published sites, mostly humor based. Then realized that my geek-knowledge was becoming obsolete. I couldn’t keep up with the current trends in web design. And I was so stressed out that I slipped a disc in my jaw. Seriously. I clenched my teeth so frickin’ hard that dislocated my jaw. That’s when I knew it was time for a change.

While recovering from my jaw problems, I became addicted to watching Emergency Vets on Animal Planet, and decided to become a vet tech. And I did THAT for a few years, until my parents passed away. I’ll get into that more at another time because it’s a long and painful story.

Let’s condense it a bit… In a little less than two years’ time, I lost my Mom, my job, my Dad and then one of my cats.

It sounds really crazy, I know, but it was the cat who really threw me for a loop. Losing my job was a blessing. Losing Mom and Dad sucked beyond anything imaginable, but sweet gentle Fergus was only two and a half years old. He was a great big healthy moose of a cat, and it was shocking that he could go downhill so quickly. And I was supposed to know about taking care of sick animals!

Guilt. Depression. Remorse. Helplessness. More guilt. Anxiety. More depression. Entire bags of Butterfingers. And weight gain.

I’d had enough by December of 2010, and decided to DO something about it. Start reinventing myself. And that’s where I am now. Thirty pounds lighter. A lot more active. Still trying to figure out who I am and what I’m supposed to do.

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